As temperatures rise around southern California, you’re going to depend on your air conditioner to keep things cool. Regardless of whether your air conditioner is new or aging, you want it to cool your home without having to take out a second mortgage. Here are the best ways to get the most out of your air conditioner this summer.
Keep Your Air Filter Clean
Your air conditioner must be able to circulate in order to cool your home. The first obstacle to that circulation is the air filter. The filter helps remove air contaminants that can create airflow restrictions further in the system. However, as it collects those contaminants, it will also restrict the air as it enters the system.
Most filters need replacing about once every 90 days. However, your specific air quality and filter type may have different needs. Plan to check your filter monthly and gently vacuum the intake side to extend its service life. If you have pets, you may need to change your filters every two months.
Consider Thermostat Location
Your thermostat’s location is extremely important for maintaining the right temperature. If the thermostat is directly in line with one of the output vents, it may register the temperature too low. This causes your system’s cycle to cut short, leaving your home too warm.
However, if you put the thermostat near a heat source, it may cause your thermostat to register too high. This causes your system to run longer, driving up your operating costs.
Time Your Chores
Some of your household chores will generate a lot of heat and humidity. Doing these during the hottest parts of the day causes your system to work harder and longer.
If at all possible, hold off on doing laundry, running your dishwasher, and taking showers. Try to keep these activities for the cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or later evening.
Check Your Windows
Your windows are a substantial source of energy loss in your home. However, it goes beyond leaks from old and inefficient windows.
The biggest source of energy loss through your windows in the summer is the ambient solar heat. This happens when the sun beats down on a window, warming it up. The air inside also warms up.
To combat this, keep your shades drawn while the sun is hitting your windows directly. If you like natural lighting, consider opening your windows up once the sun is no longer hitting the them directly. Also, look for thicker and darker blinds or shades to prevent any seepage.
Open Your Airflow
In order to cool your home properly, your system must be able to circulate air throughout your home. It does this by creating high pressure from the output vents and low pressure at the return vents.
Closing vents around your home may seem like a way to help regulate over-cooling some rooms. However, it also interrupts the pressure cycle from effectively circulating the air around your entire home, too.
Not only do you need to consider whether your vents are actually open or not but also whether they’re blocked. Having furniture over the vents may inhibit the air from flowing properly, reducing the cooling effect. Whenever possible, leave at least a couple of inches above and around your vents for better circulation.
Program Your Thermostat
Not only does the location of your thermostat matter, but so does how you set it. The Department of Energy estimates you can save 10% of your annual energy costs by programming your thermostat.
Most homes have several hours a day when no one is home. Even raising the temperature by 7-10 degrees for about eight hours a day will bring down your bill. It will also reduce the wear on your system, minimizing repairs and extending its service life.
Have Your AC Professionally Maintained
Every system needs periodic maintenance beyond changing your air filter. Most manufacturers offer professional maintenance to keep your warranty valid.
During these visits, a technician will clean your system, check each component, and test your refrigerant level. The goal is to make sure every part is operating optimally and prevent any airflow restrictions. This helps your home cool evenly, reduces strain and keeps operating costs down.
Kahn Air Conditioning, Inc, has been serving people around Northridge for nearly 60 years. Our experts provide indoor air quality solutions alongside heating and cooling installation, maintenance, and repair. Call to schedule your air conditioning maintenance today.